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Captains Courageous

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Originally published  1897
3.9/5 Goodreads

Author  Rudyard Kipling
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Characters  Harvey Cheyne, Captain Disko Troop, Dan Troop, Frank Burton Cheyne, Mrs. Cheyne
Adaptations  Captains Courageous (1937), Captains Courageous (1996)
Similar  Works by Rudyard Kipling, Classical Studies books

Captains Courageous is an 1897 novel, by Rudyard Kipling, that follows the adventures of fifteen-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr., the spoiled son of a railroad tycoon, after he is saved from drowning by a Portuguese fisherman in the north Atlantic. The novel originally appeared as a serialisation in McClure's, beginning with the November 1896 edition. In 1900, in his essay “What We Can Expect of the American Boy,” Teddy Roosevelt extolled the book and praised Kipling for describing “in the liveliest way just what a boy should be and do.”

Contents

The book's title comes from the ballad "Mary Ambree", which starts, "When captains courageous, whom death could not daunt". Kipling had previously used the same title for an article on businessmen as the new adventurers, published in The Times of 23 November 1892.

Captains courageous full audiobook


Plot

Protagonist Harvey Cheyne, Jr., is the son of a wealthy railroad magnate and his wife, in San Diego, California. Washed overboard from a transatlantic steamship and rescued by fishermen off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, Harvey can neither persuade them to take him quickly to port, nor convince them of his wealth. Disko Troop, captain of the schooner We're Here, offers him temporary membership in the crew until they return to port, and Harvey later accepts.

Through a series of trials and adventures, Harvey, with the help of the captain's son Dan Troop, becomes acclimated to the fishing lifestyle, and even skillful. Eventually, the schooner returns to port and Harvey wires his parents, who immediately hasten to Boston, Massachusetts, and thence to the fishing town of Gloucester to recover him. There, Harvey's mother rewards the seaman Manuel, who initially rescued her son; Harvey's father hires Dan to work on his prestigious tea clipper fleet; and Harvey goes to Stanford to prepare for taking over his father's shipping lines.

Film, TV, theatrical, or other adaptations

Captains Courageous has been adapted for film three times:

  • In 1937 as Captains Courageous, produced by Louis D. Lighton, directed by Victor Fleming and starring Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas, Mickey Rooney, and John Carradine. Tracy won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in this film.
  • In 1977 for television, directed by Harvey Hart and starring Karl Malden, Jonathan Kahn, Ricardo Montalbán, Fritz Weaver, Fred Gwynne and Neville Brand.
  • In 1996 for television, directed by Michael Anderson and starring Robert Urich, Kenny Vadas, Kaj-Erik Eriksen, Sandra Nelson and Colin Cunningham.
  • Musical theatre:

  • Captains Courageous, The Musical was a 1999 Off Broadway production at the Manhattan Theatre Club.
  • Other adaptations:

  • The Billion Dollar Boy by Charles Sheffield is a retelling of Captains Courageous in a futuristic science fiction setting.
  • Cabin Boy, a movie starring Chris Elliott, is a (very) loose adaptation.
  • Derivative usages

  • "Captain Courageous" in the singular is sometimes used as praise for a leader of a group or team, e.g. [1] [2] [3].
  • The commentator David Lloyd frequently referred to Kevin Pietersen as "Captain Courageous" during his period as captain of the England cricket team.
  • In the movie Captain Ron (1992), Martin Short's character derisively refers to the leader as "Captains Courageous".
  • "Captains Outrageous" is the title of a 1979 episode of the American television series M*A*S*M*A*S*H and a 2001 crime/suspense novel by Joe R. Lansdale.
  • References

    Captains Courageous Wikipedia


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